Newsletters

Our monthly email newsletter provides an essential overview of the latest news and state of the art developments in community wealth building. Check out the archives below.



May 2016

This month's developments include:

  • The Next System Project teach-ins were recently held at the University of Washington Seattle, the University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Texas-Arlington.
  • The Next System Project Co-Chair and Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder Gar Alperovitz and Next System Project Director of Special Initiatives Ben Manski discuss the past, present, and future of the Teach-In movement in an op-ed published in Truthout, while Acronym TV and Counterpoint Radio feature interviews with Next System Project Teach-In Coordinator Dana Brown.
  • The Next System Project announces a national essay competition, calling for proposals on systemic alternatives. Winning essays by college undergraduates, graduate students and non-students are eligible for $5,000 prizes.
  • Our Co-founder and author of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Gar Alperovitz contributes an article to Salon that unravels the myths behind the United States' decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.
  • The Guardian features our Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly in a article on incorporating democratic ownership into the design of financial institutions.
  • The Next System Project Co-Chair Gus Speth and MIT's J. Phillip Thompson note the current opportunity to align civil rights and environmental movements to create deep systemic transformation in an article for The Nation.
  • Our Director of Strategy Development and Operations Jessica Bonanno gives a keynote address on community wealth building at the Poughkeepsie Community Wealth-Building Summit in Poughkeepsie, New York.

April 2016

This month's developments include:

  • We released a report, Rochester’s Market Driven Community Cooperatives Corporation. It was repared on behalf of Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, New York, and includes a feasibility analysis and implementation plan for the creation of employee-owned businesses in targeted low-income neighborhoods.
  • We inaugurated the Next System Project’s new teach-ins initiative with an exclusive interview with Noam Chomsky, in which he speaks about his campus activism experiences and his vision of a just society. We also released a re-cap of the Madison, Wisconsin and New York City teach-ins and watch as well as a highlights video from the New York City teach-in.
  • The Next System Project also interviewed Riane Eisler, historian and president of the Center for Partnership Studies, about her vision for building an economy rooted in equity, democracy, and nonviolence.
  • Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb recently published an article about the opportunities for community wealth building in Detroit in the Journal of Law in Society. Steve’s writing is also featured in the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies’ (BALLE) newly developed Shared Ownership Toolkit.
  • Communications Director John Duda appeared on Baltimore’s WYPR Radio, where he discussed worker-owned cooperatives.
  • In openDemocracy, Executive Director of the Next System Project Joe Guinan and Director of Research Thomas Hanna documented historical and contemporary experimentation with municipal enterprise in Britain in the United States in the context of the British Labour Party’s increasing focus on democratization and decentralization.

March 2016

This month's developments include:

  • The Next System Project reaches a landmark first anniversary: we host the first Next System Project Teach-ins in Madison, Wisconsin and New York City, release a new curriculum on system change, publish four new papers on alternative systemic models, release a new video on economic democracy, and published several new articles and interviews.
  • We share the release of a Stanford Social Innovation Review article authored by Nick Tilsen, Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, in which he discusses how philanthropy can better partner with Native American communities to support economic revitalization.  
  • Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb, along with other participants in the Learning/Action Lab, discussed our ongoing work at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Portland, Oregon.
  • Sarah McKinley gives a webinar presentation as part of the Community Builders Webinar Series, which showcases developers, planners, and community leaders working to create stronger communities and diverse economies in the American West.
  • We welcome new Research Associate Jarrid Green and Research Assistant Emily Sladek to our team.

February 2016

This month's developments include:

  • We recap our Cities Building Community Wealth gathering, which brought together mayors, leaders of city economic development departments, philanthropy, and community advocates for a discussion on creating more inclusive cities.
  • Next month, the Next System Project will host its first Teach-Ins in Madison, Wisconsin (March 3-6) and New York City (March 10-12).
  • Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the Next System Project Gar Alperovitz contributed an article in The Nation, discussing how interesting experiments around democratized ownership and regionalism can be scaled up to build a new political economic system
  • We discuss recent developments in New Haven and other cities across the country that demonstrate a community wealth building approach taking root. Executive Vice President & Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly discusses this further in an Aspen Institute panel
  • Democracy Collaborative board member and President of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) Tamara Copeland authored an op-ed for The Chronicle of Philanthropy about the need for philanthropy as a field to address racial inequity. In a blog post for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb similarly notes the imperative of combatting disparities and highlights opportunities for impact investors to play a constructive role.
  • We congratulate India Pierce Lee, Program Director for Neighborhoods, Housing, and Community Development at the Cleveland Foundation for her recognition as an innovator in Cleveland

January 2016

This month's developments include:

  • On January 29 we will host Cities Building Community Wealth gathering, held in partnership with the CUNY School of Law Community and Economic Development Clinic and the Surdna Foundation. 
  • We are pleased to release a new paper, Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation & Community Development, authored by Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb, and Community Wealth Building Research and Strategy Associate Violeta Duncan. 
  • In a recent newsletter, Raymond Baxter, Senior Vice President of Community Benefit, Research and Health policy at Kasier Permanente, shared The Democracy Collaborative’s most recent report Can Hospitals Heal America’s Communities? To learn more about this publication, tune into the Dialogue4Health webinar on January 27, which includes Manager of Healthcare Engagement David Zuckerman and Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente Tyler Norris as presenters.
  • The Next System Project published a conversation between Kate Diedrick of Solidarity Research Center and Atlanta-based community organizer “Mother” Mamie Moore, in which Moore discussed her background as an activist and the importance of community control in fostering transformative change.
  • Co-Chair of the Next System Project Gar Alperovitz delivered a speech on “Community Wealth in the Age of Cooperation,” which was also livestreamed on Bloomington Community Radio’s Standing Room Only. 
  • The Democracy Collaborative is now hiring. We are seeking an experienced Research Associate for our research department as well as a Research Assistant to work closely with Gar Alperovitz. Find more information, as well as application instructions, on our website.

December 2015

This month's developments include:

  • The Democracy Collaborative released a new healthcare white paper co-authored with a Vice President of Kaiser Permanente.
  • We launched the Next System Project’s Teach-In initiative, an endeavor to bring a profound debate and discussion on the Next System to colleges and universities nationwide.
  • We are excited to announce a New York City convening focused on our most recent report, Cities Building Community Wealth.

November 2015

This month's developments include:

  • The release of our latest report, Cities Building Community Wealth, written by Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly and Manager of Community Development Programs Sarah McKinley. The report will be the centerpiece of a convening involving mayors, directors of economic development, scholars and practitioners on January 29 2016, co-hosted by the CUNY School of Law School Community and Economic Development Clinic.
  • The Next System Project released a collection of essays by Co-Chair Gus Speth entitled Getting to the Next System: Guideposts on the way to a new political economy. This second report in the Next System Project research series outlines the nature of system change, pathways forward, and a vision for a new American Dream.
  • Sarah McKinley and Ted Howard visisted St. Paul, Minnesota to meet with Nexus Community Partners, a community development intermediary in the Twin Cities focused on building community capacity. Building on The Democracy Collaborative's economic development framework, Nexus recently published a report about designing and implementing a community wealth building strategy for St. Paul's East Side.
  • Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb wrote an article for Shelterforce's blog Rooflines on the $1.2 billion social enterprise industry and delivered the keynote address at the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) conference. Manager of Healthcare Engagement David Zuckerman was interviewed by Catholic Health World about strategies hospitals can take to strengthen their local economies.
  • The Democracy Collaborative congratulates our friend at Cleveland's Evergreen Energy Solutions (E2S) on their ranking in Fortune's list of the 100 fastest-growing inner city businesses.
  • We are also delighted to welcome several new staff members to our growing team!

October 2015

This month's developments include:

  • The Next System Project released their newest video, Transforming Cities, Changing the System. They also published an interview with the historian Jessica Gordon Nembhard.
  • We release our latest C-W Interview with community economics expert Michael Shuman.
  • Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb commented on the role of Community Development Credit Unions in an article in Yes! Magazine. 
  • President & Co-Founder Ted Howard spoke at the German Marshall Fund’s Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues (BUILD) conference in Spain; Executive Director of the Next System Project Joe Guinan and Director of Research Thomas Hanna discussed public ownership in an article in openDemocracy. Thomas also opened a Pennsylvania Public Bank Projectconference and webinar at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder Gar Alperovitz delivered the opening plenary keynote address at the 2015 Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP), and published articles in Truthout, Yes! Magazine, and Al Jazeera. Gar also spoke at the 45th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference and on Boston public radio’sOpen Source with Christopher Lydon.

September 2015

This month's developments include:
  • Our latest report, Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, was profiled in Forbes magazine, Shareable, MassLive & Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). The Democracy Collaborative also hosted a webinar on practical strategies to empower residents to participate in community economic development.
  • Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of the Next System Project, published an article in the RSA Journal.
  • Gus Speth, co-chair of the Next System Project and senior fellow, was interviewed as a feature in the “Change Agent” series of the Great Transition Initiative, where he discussed his own environmental background and the goals of the Project.
  • Last month, Next System Project Executive Director Joe Guinan joined Social Capital Markets’ (SOCAP) Co-founder & Convener Kevin Jones and sociology Professor Juliet Schor to facilitate a twitter chat about the need for systemic change. 
  • Steve Dubb contributed to Shelterforce magazine’s Rooflines blog on the subject of converting businesses to employee ownership, and Ted Howard recently had the opportunity to talk with Equitable Opportunity radio about the role anchor institutions and worker cooperatives play in building a more inclusive economy. 
  • Thomas Hanna, director of research, and Marjorie Kelly, executive vice president and senior fellow, had articles featured by the Great Transition Initiative on public ownership & common wealth trusts.   
  • The Atkinson Foundation released two reports in their series on community wealth building initiatives in Toronta: The Prosperous Province: Strategies for Community Wealth. 
  • Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives' highly innovative home-buyer program for employees was recently featured in Yes! Magazine, and Green City Growers was profiled in Crain’s Cleveland Business for its rapid growth. 

August 2015

This month's developments include:

  • We release of our latest report Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth.

  • In the New York Times, Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder Gar Alperovitz and Research Director Thomas Hanna wrote about the prevalence of public ownership in the United States and how conservative states like Texas, Alaska, and Nebraska have embraced it as a means to provide social services and lower the public’s tax burden. 
  • In The Nation, Gar marked the seventieth anniversary of Hiroshima by challenging Americans to face the reality that the atomic bombings were not, in fact, a matter of military necessity. 
  • The Next System Project was cited in MintPress News and Gar discussed the effort on WBAI’s Building Bridges radio program and in an interview with Social Capital Markets (SOCAP). 

  • In a piece for Medium, Director of Communications John Duda emphasized the need to think critically about who benefits from solar energy development, highlighting institutions and policies that are building wealth in low-income communities and communities of color while at the same time creating a more sustainable energy system. 

  • The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) profiled The Democracy Collaborative and the work of BALLE Local Economy Fellow Steve Dubb.

  • Recommended reads: Capitalism for Everyone: Encouraging Companies to Adopt Employee Ownership Programs and Broad-Based Profit Sharing from the Center for American Progress; Realizing Possibilities of the Connected Economy from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society; City Financial Inclusion Efforts: A National Overview from the National League of Cities; and Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services from CFED. 

  • Featured websites: Community Wealth Building, Metro Denver’s Economic Prosperity Network; and Racial Equity Tools